Comment to Planners: Better Transportation Planning

Kitsap County has proposed Alternative 2, which defines and maintains Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) and rural areas. It’s imperative that rural areas are protected and Alternative 2 becomes the preferred land use in the Comprehensive Plan Update final draft. Reclassifying rural property that encourages sprawl instead of focusing on growth in Urban Growth Areas will prevent Kitsap County from successfully enacting Comprehensive Plan policies and strategies for transportation and the new climate goals.

Urban Growth Areas provide opportunities for multimodal transportation. Kitsap Transit can focus on routes that move people efficiently to centralized areas where businesses, schools, healthcare, jobs, housing, and our ferries exist. Not so in a sprawling community.

Comprehensive Plan policies and budgets in the Draft Capital Facilities Plan do not support safe, nonmotorized transportation that allows people to commute to UGAs (p.110/140). Northern European cities have shown cycling is a popular form of transportation when routes are separate from busy traffic areas or are available on quiet streets. I personally don’t see roadways or trails where I feel safe riding my bike to a store or other destination within the County. Studies have found that alternative nonmotorized transportation reduces traffic, thus reducing the need to build more or wider roads.

Reclassifying land along a Washington state route in Kitsap County could further worsen Levels of Service (LOS). Any improvements or expansion along state roads in Kitsap County will require our state legislators to approve funding for feasibility studies, design, and construction, which will take years to complete. The current Kitsap County transportation budget does not support road improvements due to increases in traffic created by sprawl. The Draft Capital Facilities Plan states the future average Level of Service for County roads is at a C or D grade (p.109/140). Do we really want our roads to deteriorate to a level E or F due to sprawling development?

Robin, Kitsap County